More than 25 representatives of local governments from South America participated in the fifth Mercociudades Resilience School.

- During this edition, a technical cooperation agreement was signed between the cities of Santa Fe and Canelones for Flood Risk Management.

- This School is an opportunity for the creation of spaces for collaboration and synergy between cities, by forming south-south working alliances.

Uruguay, March 27, 2023. In October 2022, the fifth edition of the Mercociudades Resilience School was held with the support of the EUROCLIMA+ project "Adaptation in Action - Santa Lucia Watershed".

The workshops provided spaces for interaction to address the main challenges facing cities, such as the integrated management of water resources and the building of urban resilience.

Representatives of local governments participated in the activity, presenting cases of water-related problems in their territories, of which three were selected to receive technical assistance during 2023, an initiative that includes the exchange of experiences and other mechanisms to put urban resilience strategies into practice.

These workshops are part of the "Adaptation in Action - Santa Lucia Watershed" project, which is part of the EUROCLIMA+ program financed by the European Union and is led by the National Water Directorate (Dinagua) of the Ministry of Environment, and implemented by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the French Development Agency (AFD).

Participants highlighted the lessons learned, benefits and challenges identified in these workshops.

"That new vision motivates and empowers us, making us understand that it is not always about resources, but that sometimes the real solutions come from a lot of creativity, which can arise from one's own ideas or can be motivated from interaction with other cities that have overcome similar difficulties," mentioned Valeria Ilarraz, a participant in the workshops.

Jocelyn Nicole Ávila Higuera, member of the Environment Directorate of the Municipality of Peñalolén, Chile, also added that the Mercociudades Resilience School "represented a great opportunity to increase technical capacities in this area and also an opportunity to generate concrete actions in our territory, especially in the area of water".

This workshop was attended by 10 women representatives of these local governments, where as part of the highlights, emphasized the issue of gender equality in access to information and knowledge for the progress of communities.

"We believe that we have different challenges in management, mainly generating measures to improve social equality and not exacerbate the existing gap, promoting better climate justice and gender equality. We believe that gender equality and promoting climate justice is a progressive, but revolutionary work," shared Ávila Higuera.

In addition, these participants also addressed a key issue for the projects currently being implemented in EUROCLIMA: replicability, synergy, and collaborative work between the different regions of action.

"If we were able to undertake associative work, we could attract attention to achieve a much stronger impact," said Ms. Ilarraz.

"The School of Resilience is a tremendous opportunity to share successful experiences, improve our technical capacities, understand the importance of incorporating Resilience in our territories (...) we could also generate a network that allows us to replicate what we have learned in other cities and have permanent feedback through technical support equipment" contributed Avila Higuera, on the networking that the Mercociudades School of Resilience has generated.

As part of this fifth edition, a technical cooperation agreement was also signed between the cities of Santa Fe and Canelones, related to Flood Risk Management in the context of the climate crisis. This agreement establishes an area of south-south cooperation that will strengthen bilateral relations, knowledge exchange, capacity building and technical assistance in matters of mutual interest to the cities.

About the project

The "Adaptation in Action - Santa Lucía Watershed" project, in which the workshops of this School were framed, aims to strengthen the resilience of Montevideo and its metropolitan area, as well as that of the urban localities of the Santa Lucía River watershed to the impacts of climate variability and change, through efforts in an integrated management of water resources that guarantee the quantity and quality of its source of drinking water.

To learn more about its progress and results, please visit 


EUROCLIMA+ is a program funded by the European Union to promote environmentally sustainable and climate resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, particularly for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations. The Program is implemented under the synergistic work of seven agencies: Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), French Development Agency (AFD), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Expertise France (EF), International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), GmbH and UN Environment.

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